Enhancing the effectiveness of vocational education in Vietnam

Last registered on December 27, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Enhancing the effectiveness of vocational education in Vietnam
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0008714
Initial registration date
December 23, 2021

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
December 27, 2021, 10:22 PM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
Newcastle University

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Copenhagen
PI Affiliation
Lancaster University
PI Affiliation
World Bank
PI Affiliation
Geneva Graduate Institute

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2021-10-15
End date
2023-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial does not extend or rely on any prior RCTs.
Abstract
This study conducts a randomized control trial with students enrolled in the final year in vocational colleges in Vietnam. It evaluates the effects of soft skills training and career-counseling services on students’ labor market outcomes. These interventions could potentially address two key challenges faced by vocational college students that we identified through pilot surveys in Vietnam. First, students graduate without the skills demanded in the labor market, in particular relevant soft skills. Second, there is a mismatch between students and available jobs/employers, which leads to low rates of employment and job retention.

The RCT design involves four treatment arms: soft skills training (treatment 1); career counseling (treatment 2); soft skills training and career counseling (treatment 3); and neither soft skills training nor career counseling (control).
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Sharma, Smriti et al. 2021. "Enhancing the effectiveness of vocational education in Vietnam." AEA RCT Registry. December 27. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.8714
Sponsors & Partners

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Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
There will be four randomly allocated treatment arms:

Treatment 1: Soft skills training
Treatment 2: Career counseling
Treatment 3: Soft skills training and career counseling
Control: Neither soft skills training nor career counseling
Intervention Start Date
2021-12-24
Intervention End Date
2022-05-31

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We will focus on the following outcomes:
- Probability of being employed
- Job characteristics: starting wage, terms of contract (full-time/part-time; open-ended/fixed term contract), alignment of the job with vocational training.
- Job retention
- Job satisfaction
- Socioemotional skills (self-awareness, goal identification, perseverance, personal initiative, self-control, communication skills, presentation skills, locus of control)
- Career aspirations
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
This study will be conducted with 31 vocational colleges in Hanoi and in the neighboring Bac Ninh province in Vietnam, each of which offers multiple majors (disciplines). The level of observation is students enrolled in the final year in these colleges. The interventions will be randomized at the college-major level. We will stratify on major cohort size (in bins) and college.

Each college-major will be randomly assigned to one of the following four treatment arms: soft skills training (treatment 1); career counseling (treatment 2); soft skills training and career counseling (treatment 3); and neither soft skills training nor career counseling (control). To maximize take-up of the services, both the soft skills training and the career counseling services will be offered free of charge. Both interventions will be provided by well-known private companies with long-standing experience in these sectors in Vietnam.

We will collect two sets of data after the interventions. First, at the time of graduation, we will collect administrative data from colleges on outcomes such as whether the student graduated on time, secured a job at the time of graduation, the time taken to find a job, and job characteristics such as the starting wage, terms of the contract, and alignment of the job with the vocational training. Second, we will survey students nine months after graduation to gather information on employment, job retention, wage, job satisfaction, socioemotional skills, and career aspirations. Focus groups and open-ended survey questions at the time of the follow-up will help understand the channels through which the interventions worked.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
The randomization was done in the office using Stata.
Randomization Unit
Majors (or sections of majors in case the majors are very large) within colleges
Was the treatment clustered?
Yes

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
154 college-majors (spread across 31 vocational colleges)
Sample size: planned number of observations
3352 vocational college students
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
The number of college-majors assigned to each treatment arm:
Soft skills (T1): 38
Career counseling (T2): 39
Soft skills + career counseling (T3): 38
Control: 39

The number of students assigned to each treatment arm:
Soft skills (T1): 824
Career counseling (T2): 873
Soft skills + career counseling (T3): 815
Control: 840
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Research Ethics Committee at the Department of Economics at University of Copenhagen
IRB Approval Date
2021-07-13
IRB Approval Number
N/A